The Board of Trustees of Wabash College elected Dr. Patrick E. White the 15th president of the private liberal arts college for men in January 2006. White was previously the Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. He is also a Professor of English at Wabash.
During his tenure at Wabash, President White has led the College through a strategic planning process; guided the College through the financial turmoil of 2008-2009; completed a comprehensive academic program review; secured several grants to establish new programs; and set annual giving records in each of the last two fiscal years. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Economic Development Commission and is a member of the Board of Regents of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities.
In February 2012, President White joined with presidents of two other single-sex colleges in a two-day symposium at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. “College Men: Making the Grade?” examined the so-called “male crisis” in education through presentations from scholars, faculty, and Hampden-Sydney students regarding research and opinion on men’s education.
In January 2010, Dr. White served on a panel at the Council of Independent College’s Presidents Institute titled “Raising Funds in the Declining Economy.” He was subsequently featured in an article on college endowments in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In March 2010, President White was part of a panel discussion at the American Men’s Studies Association annual conference. On that panel, President White joined the presidents of the other three remaining colleges for men to discuss what men’s colleges could teach all of higher education about educating and engaging men. That panel was featured in an Inside Higher Education article, which was published on the USA Today website.
Dr. White served as Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, from 2002 to 2006. Previously he was the Associate Dean of Faculty from 1988 to 2002, and served the all-women’s college as Professor of English. He spearheaded a number of academic initiatives at Saint Mary’s, including establishing the Center for Academic Innovation and the creation of grants that supported collaborative research between faculty and students and among the faculty members themselves. Dr. White was also one of the designers of Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s InterCultural Leadership, a Lilly Endowment-funded initiative.
Prior to his service at Saint Mary’s, he served as chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Pfieffer College (1985-1988) and taught at Westmar College from 1976 through 1985. He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 1971, and earned his master's and Ph.D. in English and American Literature from the University of Iowa.
President White is active in Montgomery County and serves on the Montgomery County Economic Development Commission. He routinely gives public talks about the College at local meetings of Kiwanis, Rotary, and the League of Women Voters. He is a member of the Board of Directors of t he Indiana Academy.
Dr. White and his wife, Chris, have twin daughters, Katie and Molly, who are graduates of at Saint Mary’s College, and a son, Paddy, who is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Chris White is a certified family nurse practitioner, who was a Clinical Assistant Professor, teaching community health nursing at Indiana University South Bend. She is active in Crawfordsville on several non-profit boards, including the Christian Nursing Service and Montgomery County Community Foundation. She is president of Crawfordsville Main Street. Together, Pat and Chris have been actively involved in growing a new free public health clinic in Crawfordsville, bringing together local nurses, doctors, and health care professionals to establish the Montgomery County Free Clinic, which is based on the Volunteers in Medicine model.